China's elite League of Legends division, the LPL, always provides thrills and spills and it has been no different at the start of this year with the LPL Spring 2023.
The LPL is home to some of the biggest hitters on the League of Legends circuit, including JD Gaming who were semi-finals at last year's World Championship.
The division's top teams continue to try and close the gap between them and the powerhouses of South Korea's LCK and the best will soon have the opportunity to show their skill on the international stage in the Mid-Season Invitational later this year.
But first there is the small matter of concluding the LPL Spring 2023 - the first regional split of the year - with the playoffs well underway.
The first three rounds of the LPL Spring Playoffs 2023 are done and dusted but things go up a gear in the fourth round as the top two teams from the regular season - JD Gaming and Edward Gaming - are now set to join the fray.
On top of that, the fourth round also marks the introduction of the losers' bracket, turning the playoffs into a double-elimination bracket format and meaning one defeat will not spell the end of a team's run.
JD Gaming and Bilibili Gaming were first up in round four in their playoff tie on Wednesday but here is a look at the next big playoff clash taking place between Edward Gaming and Oh My God on Thursday.
|What||Edward Gaming v Oh My God, LPL Spring Playoffs|
|When||10:00, Thursday 6th April 2023|
|How to watch||bet365's / LPL Twitch channel|
|Odds||Edward Gaming 2/5, Oh My God 7/4|
Edward Gaming's reward for finishing second in the regular season of the LPL Spring 2023 was automatic progression to the fourth round of the playoffs.
They bypassed the first three knockout matches and have the luxury of having two bites at the cherry now with the losers' bracket below them.
But they are fancied to remain in the winners' bracket for now, having been priced at 2/5 to win their first knockout match against Oh My God, who can be backed at .
At first glance it is hard to ignore the fact Edward Gaming are in the stronger position given their performances in the regular season and the fact they won the previous matchup between these sides 2-1 in March.
Edward Gaming are a pretty consistent force on the LPL circuit, having placed fifth in the LPL Summer 2022 and seventh in the LPL Spring 2022.
But in this year's LPL Spring, they took things up a gear and secured second spot, matching the 13-3 win-loss record of divisional leaders and LPL juggernauts JD Gaming.
Their games differential stood at 28-11 coming into the playoffs and in this year's LPL Spring, they rank fourth in terms of gold per minute (1,858) and third in terms of gold differential per minute (144).
In Chu "FoFo" Chun-Lan, they also have one of the division's most influential mid laners at their disposal with the player having recorded one of the best kill-death-assist ratios in the competition with six.
There is a lot to like about this Edward Gaming side but while a win for them looks likely, there is little value in backing them at such a short price.
Oh My God may be underdogs but they should still give Edward Gaming a match and a 3-1 win for the favourites could be the way to go at 5/2.
That looks the best bet in this contest but punters who think the match will go the distance can back over 4.5 maps at 7/4.
Oh My God took a game off Edward Gaming when the sides met last month and they should not be taken lightly.
They are a team which has been steadily progressing in China's LPL, having missed out on a place in the playoffs in last year's LPL Spring before finishing eighth in the LPL Summer.
And this year, they managed to scrape into the top six of the LPL Spring regular season, winning 10 of their 16 matches.
They consequently joined the LPL Spring Playoffs and won their opener 3-2 in a ding-dong battle with Top Esport in a game which could have swung either way.
But arguably their moment of the split came last time out as they recorded a shock 3-1 win over LNG Esports, who finished with the same record as Edward Gaming (13-3) during the regular season and were fancied to go deep.
That was a confidence-boosting win for Oh My God and it is no surprise that they are only 2/9 to win a map in this contest.
The winners of this match will move on to the semi-finals of the playoffs, while the losers will drop into the lower bracket and have to go through an extra match to try and make the final four.